Biology Bulletin (major requirements)

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The Department of Biology provides its students with both a breadth of understanding in biology and an opportunity to explore many specialized areas in greater depth. Students can choose from a variety of degree programs, which are designed to meet individual needs. The required courses for the major and specializations establish a core of fundamental knowledge in biology and related sciences. Students build on this foundation through a variety of lecture, laboratory, field, and seminar courses that explore areas within biology while allowing them to focus on specific disciplines.

With our award-winning faculty and advanced research facilities, the Biology Department encompasses the wide-ranging discipline of biology. Faculty research interests span all levels of biological organization from the molecular and organismal to the ecology of populations and entire ecosystems. The development of laboratory and field skills is encouraged throughout coursework and participation in the department’s extensive research activities, which often involve collaborative research.

In addition to biology course requirements, the major requires three semesters of chemistry, and two semesters of both math and physics.

For a more detailed listing of courses and requirements for this interdisciplinary degree program, visit the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Premed: The biology major satisfies all premedical requirements except for the second semester of organic chemistry, which can easily be built into a student’s schedule. Please visit the Premedical/Prehealth Advising website for additional information.

Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles spanning the breadth of biology.
  • Demonstrate expertise in the scientific method, including experimental design, critical assessment of the scientific literature, and an understanding of the principles and best practices for the ethical conduct of research.
  • Attain the technical and/or analytical skills required for employment or post-graduate education in biology or biology-related careers, including professional careers and science education.


Stacy Straaberg Finfrock
Undergraduate Program Specialist
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Mall, Room 101
Phone: 617-353-2432

Related Programs

Biology faculty and students are involved in a number of related programs, including interdisciplinary degree programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a combined BA/MA in Biotechnology, Marine Science, Neuroscience, and the Modular Medical Program for those interested in continuing their education in medical school. For more information about these opportunities, please follow the links below.